As part of this assignment, I considered various options for continuing my nursing career, to determine the goals for my MSN course. The two specialties I selected are Nurse Executive (primary) and Family Nurse Practitioner (secondary). In this part, I compared the two prospective venues, provided justification for choosing one over the other, and developed a plan on how to become a member of AONE – American Organization of Nursing Executives.
The primary specialty I selected for myself is that of a Nurse Executive (NE). Nurse executives are some of the most senior nurses to be found in a healthcare setting (Nurse Practitioner Schools, n.d. A). They are the administrators, who help organize the labor of other nurses, ensuring that all teams and facilities are working at their maximum capacity. As such, they are instrumental to organizational success. Some of their duties include hiring and training staff members, making healthcare-related financial decisions, and collaborating with other organizations and professional groups to develop strong networks and working relationships.
A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is also a key position in a healthcare organization. However, unlike NE, these nurses are closer to the front lines, using their practical and educational experience to work with a plethora of diverse populations, no matter race, gender, age, or social status (Nurse Practitioner Schools, n.d. B). As such, their scope of practice and responsibilities are very broad. They monitor the healthcare status of their patients, deal with small illnesses and injuries, and care for people of all ages. Because of the implied diversity of the population, they care for, FNPs are generalists, rather than focused specialists in specific areas, such as pediatrics, gerontology, and so forth.
The primary differentiator between these two roles, for me, is the scope of responsibility. While an FNP has much responsibility to its patients, he or she is a part of the existing system, which is difficult to change. A NE, however, is at the top of the healthcare organization’s internal hierarchy and has the potential to improve it from within. In my experience as an RN, I learned that ineffective and uninspired leadership and organization can deal much damage to patients and staff alike. Good organizational skills, on the other hand, lead to much greater results in improving the overall health of the community, compared to the efforts of a singular FNP, no matter how excellent they are. Thus, the reason why I chose NE as my primary specialty is for the ability to enact change.
Besides the capacity to help improve the healthcare system in my particular field of responsibility, I have several other reasons to justify choosing my MSN specialization. Organizational capacity has always been my strength, as opposed to having an extremely large pool of knowledge, which is required for a successful FNP. In addition, being an FNP is a relatively solitary position, whereas a NE has to deal with many other nurses, to lead them. I always found the topic of leadership interesting, and feedback from colleagues in this week’s discussion forum encouraged me to pursue my strengths.
The primary professional organization available to me as a NE is the American Organization of Nursing Executives (AONE). It features a plethora of instruments useful for a starting NE, ranging from sources of knowledge to consultations, networking, participating in advocacy actions, employment, and legal support. To join AONE, a yearly participation fee is needed, ranging from 95$ a year for students to 210$ a year for MSN graduates (AONE, n.d.).
I chose to become a NE as my primary option because it plays to my strengths and interests as a nurse. It also allows me to see change happen and fix some of the issues I observed during my nursing career. To support my endeavor, I will seek to join AONE and benefit from their experience and resources.
AONL. (n.d.). Join a community of nurse leaders. Web.
Nurse Practitioner Schools. (n.d. A). What is a nurse executive? Web.
Nurse Practitioner Schools. (n.d. B). What is a family nurse practitioner? Web.